Desiring to be an intentional, invested and involved mom in the lives of my children... I share a glimpse of my triumphs and failures on my quest to capture their hearts ♥♥♥
by Tini Tadeo-Castillo
How much are we truly accountable when it comes to raising our children? Or maybe the better question to ask is, how seriously do we take our accountability when it comes to raising godly children? Are we their spiritual mentors or do we delegate and abdicate this role to others?
In the recently concluded True Life Retreat in CCF Eastwood, I had the privilege of hearing Josh Gurango speak about bondage and slavery to sin. It is true that sin is innate in us, that no one taught us to sin yet we do. Generally, no sane parent will intentionally teach his/her children to lie, cheat, steal or covet. Yet all of us have done so and the young ones are bound to do the same. Sounds downright hopeless and very discouraging, right? But it shouldn’t be.
This is where we come in as Christian parents. Our responsibility is to make sure they are raised counter-flowing the norm. While the rest of the society thinks stealing a few hundred pesos is a far less heavy sin than murder, we ought to be teaching them how to call spade a spade. James 2:10 says, “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” There are no gray areas in sin. No sin is greater than the other. A sin is a sin no matter how noble the cause may be. And our job as parents, is to make this important fact known to our children. Psalm 111:10 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” When we know this, it helps us understand the seriousness of sin and to have a serious dread of it. Although God is a loving merciful and forgiving God, He is also just and will hold us accountable for disobeying Him. We ought to teach them to yearn to walk right and do right with the Lord. This yearning is an overflow of deep adoration and love for the Lord. But how to do so when we are ignorant of the gravity of sin ourselves? When we ourselves, don’t have that deep reverence for God and that godly fear of grieving His heart? We can’t give what we don’t have.
Even as babies, our children are wired to be worried about losing us, their parents. Don’t babies cry when they sense their mothers aren’t nearby? Think back to a time when your toddler thought he lost you in the grocery and how loud his cry was. And when you know your teen is troubled when he found out you were sick but was too reticent to mention their fears out loud. We ought to gear up, get ready with answers to questions about life, illness and death because whatever their age will be, that fear of losing you will always be there.
Early in life, our kids will be curious about so many things. You’d be surprised about their thought process. There are questions that will baffle us, make us struggle with answers. Even at an early age they will experience hardships in their level—bullying, parents quarreling, sibling rivalry. And it is inevitable that our children will have questions about their faith and other spiritual issues. Some will remain quiet about it but rest assured, the questions are there and will be there until someone will be intentional in giving answers. Some will be forthright in asking and boldly seeking the truth. And unless we will make it our goal to be the primary responder to such questions, they will seek it in others and rest assured they will find answers either through other mentors like teachers, or through their friends or worse through social media. The bigger question is--will it be the truth?
It sounds like a daunting responsibility being the emotional and spiritual mentor of our children. It is. But if we equip and immerse ourselves in God’s Word, we will have an assurance that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. Keep in mind that even when we bring them to church on Sundays and see them listening intently to the pastor on the podium, his/her decisions about God will be dependent on what you say and do. His views about about sin and its gravity, about victory and defeat, joy and happiness, pain and suffering, losing and gaining—he/she will take after yours. Giving our children firm emotional roots is important but it is even crucial to give them solid spiritual roots. But do we have it?